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Ann. Geophys., 29, 47-51, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-29-47-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
ANGEO Communicates
05 Jan 2011
Production of artificial ionospheric layers by frequency sweeping near the 2nd gyroharmonic
T. Pedersen1, M. McCarrick2, B. Reinisch3, B. Watkins4, R. Hamel3, and V. Paznukhov3 1Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA, USA
2Marsh Creek LLC, McLean, VA, USA
3Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, USA
4Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, College, AK, USA
Abstract. Artificial ionospheric plasmas descending from the background F-region have been observed on multiple occasions at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility since it reached full 3.6 MW power. Proximity of the transmitter frequency to the 2nd harmonic of the electron gyrofrequency (2fce) has been noted as a requirement for their occurrence, and their disappearance after only a few minutes has been attributed to the increasing frequency mismatch at lower altitudes. We report new experiments employing frequency sweeps to match 2fce in the artificial plasmas as they descend. In addition to revealing the dependence on the 2fce resonance, this technique reliably produces descending plasmas in multiple transmitter beam positions and appears to increase their stability and lifetime. High-speed ionosonde measurements are used to monitor the altitude and density of the artificial plasmas during both the formation and decay stages.

Citation: Pedersen, T., McCarrick, M., Reinisch, B., Watkins, B., Hamel, R., and Paznukhov, V.: Production of artificial ionospheric layers by frequency sweeping near the 2nd gyroharmonic, Ann. Geophys., 29, 47-51, https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-29-47-2011, 2011.
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